Zob Ahan Isfahan F.C.

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Zob Ahan
ذوب ‌آهن
Zob Ahan F.C. logo.png
Full name Zob Ahan CSC
Nickname(s) Crocodiles
Founded 6 July 1969; 45 years ago
Ground Foolad Shahr Stadium
Ground Capacity 15,000[1]
Owner Isfahan Steel Company
Chairman Saeed Azari
Head Coach Yahya Golmohammadi
League Iran Pro League
2013–14 Iran Pro League, 13th
Website Club home page
Departments of Zob Ahan
Football pictogram.svg Basketball pictogram.svg Volleyball (indoor) pictogram.svg
Football (men) Basketball (men) Volleyball (men)
Taekwondo pictogram.svg Swimming pictogram.svg Futsal pictogram.svg
Taekwondo (men) Swimming (men) Futsal (men)
Football pictogram.svg Basketball pictogram.svg Taekwondo pictogram.svg
Football (women) Basketball (women) Taekwondo (women)

Zob Ahan Football Club (Persian: باشگاه فوتبال ذوب ‌آهن‎) is an Iranian football club based in Isfahan, Iran. They compete in the Persian Gulf Pro League. The team is sponsored by the Isfahan Steel Company, which also goes by the name Zob Ahan. The club's main rival is fellow Isfahani team Sepahan, which is also sponsored by the rival steel mill.

Zob Ahan club also has a basketball team, sponsored by the same Isfahan Steel Company, which is one of the teams in the Iranian Super League.

Club history[edit]

Early years (1969–1980)[edit]

Mohammad Ali Taghizadeh Farahmand established the club in 1969. They entered the Takht Jamshid Cup in 1973 and end season in the 10th place. They promoted to the quarterfinals of the Hazfi Cup in 1976. Their best results in Takht Jamshid Cup was erned in 1977–78 in the 8th place. Zob Ahan prepared its team by buying 14 players from their local rivals Sepahan.

Azadegan League (1980–2001)[edit]

The team has participated in the highest division of the Iranian league system since 1973, except for the 1995 season when they played in the 2nd division. After Iranian Revolution in 1979, Takht Jamshid Cup was suspended due to Iran-Iraq War. After the end of the war, league began again in the title of Azadegan League. They were once again promoted to the 1st division the year after.

IPL (2001–Present)[edit]

Zob Ahan currently play in the IPL starting from 2001. The club's first honor, remains the winning of the Hazfi Cup in 2003, after defeating the Shiraz-based team Moghavemat Sepasi in the finals.[2] This feat was repeated in the 2008–09 Hazfi Cup, when the club beat Rah Ahan to re-claim the title after 6 years.[3] The club made its first appearance in the AFC Champions League in 2004, as the winners of the 2003 Hazfi Cup, but were eliminated in the group stages.

Having missed out so narrowly on winning their first-ever domestic league title in the 2008–09 season, Zobahan were one of the title contenders once again in the 2009–10 season, never dropping out of the top-four positions throughout the season. However, at the end, they had to settle for second place once again after finishing six points behind their city rivals Sepahan. They also lost their grip on the Hazfi Cup after a shock 0–2 loss to a second-division side Gostaresh Foulad in the semi-finals.[4]

2010 AFC Champion League[edit]

In the 2010 AFC Champions League Zob Ahan finished first on the group stage that included FC Bunyodkor, Al-Wahda and Al-Ittihad. By finishing first they qualified for the first time for the Knockout stages. On the Round of 16 they draw country neighbours Mes Kerman winning 1–0. The club then qualified to the Quarter-finals and were drawn with title holders Pohang Steelers, Zob Ahan won 2–1 at home and draw 1–1 on Korea, knocking-out shockingly the title holders. Zob Ahan played against Saudi powerhouse Al-Hilal which they won 1–0 at home, and won 1–0 on Saudi Arabia with a goal from Igor Castro leading the club to an historical Asian Champions League final where they face Seongnam Ilhwa Chunma. On November 13, in the final Zob Ahan lost 1–3 to Seongnam Ilhwa Chunma. At half-time the score was 0–1 with a goal from Saša Ognenovski, in the second-half Zob Ahan conceded an early goal scored by Cho Byung-Kuk making the score 0–2, Zob Ahan finally scored the goal from Mohammad Reza Khalatbari making 1–2, but on the last minutes of the game Seongnam Ilhwa Chunma scored the 1–3 and killed the game. Zob Ahan couldn't be the champions on their 2nd Asian Champions League participation always being under-dogs, but they fought like warriors and made Iran proud. The following year the club made it to the quarter finals but lost to Korean club Suwon Samsung Bluewings.

Dark Years[edit]

After the 2011 Champions League, Zob Ahan's golden age seemed all but over. A 6th place league finish in 2012 meant that the club failed to retain its spot in the Champions League. The following year, the club finished 14th in the league, narrowly avoiding relegation through a play off. Fan attendance started to dip and Zob Ahan had another sub par year in the 2013–14 Iran Pro League season, finishing 13th, changing three managers during the course of the season and again narrowly avoiding relegation. In summer of 2014, Zob Ahan announced Yahya Golmohammadi as the club's new manager.

Colours and crest[edit]

One of Zob Ahan's nicknames is Sabzpoushan ("The Greens", Persian: سبز پوشان‎), stemming from their traditional kit, which is predominantly green. From the foundation of the club, the common home kit includes a green shirt, black or white shorts, and white or yellow socks. White and black colours are also seen in the kit. The away kit of the club is commonly with a white background.

Stadium and facilities[edit]

Main article: Foolad Shahr Stadium

The home stadium of the club is Foolad Shahr Stadium located in Fooladshahr, Isfahan. The stadium had 20,000 capacity but was renovated to hold about 30,000 people in 2011. The stadium was built in 1998. There training stadium is located outside of Isfahan named Zob Ahan Private Stadium.

Rivalries[edit]

Main article: Esfahan derby

Zob Ahan is part of the Esfahan derby or Naghsh-e-Jahan derby, one of the biggest derby's in Iran. According to Iranian football journalist Afshin Afshar, the rivalry between Zob Ahan and Sepahan is one of the most important matches in the Iran Pro League.

The Esfahan derby goes back to the 1970s, when Zob Ahan and Sepahan faced each other in Takht Jamshid Cup seasons (1974/75, 1975/76, 1976/77, 1977/78). Their rivalry resumed in the 1990s when they faced each other in Azadegan League seasons (1993/94, 1996/97, 1997/98) and from then on the two met each other twice a year.

Players[edit]

First-team squad[edit]

As of 26 December 2014[5]

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Position Player
1 Iran GK Mohammad Bagher Sadeghi
2 Iran DF Hadi Mohammadi
3 Brazil DF Carlos Santos
4 Iran MF Akbar Imani U23
5 Iran MF Ghasem Dehnavi
7 Iran MF Mohsen Mosalman
8 Iran MF Ghasem Hadadifar (Captain)
10 Iran FW Esmaeil Farhadi
11 Iran FW Morteza Tabrizi
12 Iran GK Mohammad Rashid Mazaheri
13 Iran DF Pouria Seifpanahi
15 Iran MF Ehsan Pahlevan U23
16 Iran DF Hojjat Haghverdi U23
17 Iran FW Masoud Hassanzadeh
18 Lebanon DF Ali Hamam
No. Position Player
19 Iran MF Mehrdad Ghanbari
21 Iran DF Saeb Mohebi U23
23 Iran FW Danial Esmaeilifar U23
24 Iran MF Hossein Doustdar U23
25 Iran FW Mohammadreza Abbasi U21
27 Lebanon DF Walid Ismail
28 Iran FW Ali Khodadadi U21
30 Iran FW Mehdi Rajabzadeh
32 Iran FW Amin Nasiri U23
33 Iran GK Mohamamd Amin Bahrami U21
34 Iran MF Mohammadreza Baouj U21
36 Iran FW Farshad Mohammadi U21
40 Iran GK Peyman Salmani U21
Iran MF Mehdi Mehdipour U21

For recent transfers, see List of Iranian football transfers winter 2014–15.

Notable players[edit]

This list of former players includes those who received international caps while playing for the team, made significant contributions to the team in terms of appearances or goals while playing for the team, or who made significant contributions to the sport either before they played for the team, or after they left. It is clearly not yet complete and all inclusive, and additions and refinements will continue to be made over time.

Club captains[edit]

# Name Nat Career in
Zob Ahan
Captaincy Shirt
Num
1
Rasoul Korbekandi Iran 1969–80 1970–80
1
2
Mahmood Ebrahimzadeh Iran
Iran
1976–86 1980–86
7
3
Rahman Rezaei Iran 1996–01 1997–00
10
4
Ali Akbar Ostad-Asadi Iran 1995–03 2000–03
15
5
Sepehr Heidari Iran 2000–07
2012–14
2003–07
3
6
Farshid Talebi Iran 2006–12 2007–08
4
7
Mohammad Reza Khalatbari Iran 2006–11 2008–11
9
8
Mohammad Salsali Iran 2004–14 2011–14
7
9
Ghasem Hadadifar Iran 2003– 2014–
8

Club officials[edit]

IPL managers[edit]

Only IPL matches are counted.

Last updated 11 December 2014.

Name Nat From To Record
P W D L Final Position
Nasser Hejazi Iran Jul 2001 Dec 2001 20 8 6 4 3rd (until week 20)
Bahram Atef Iran Dec 2001 Jul 2002 6 2 3 3 6th
Samvel Darbinyan Armenia Jul 2002 May 2003 52 21 11 20 (02-03) 8th (03-04) 4th
Rasoul Korbekandi Iran May 2003 Jun 2007 90 39 26 25 (04-05) 2nd, (05-06) 6th, (06-07) 8th
Zoran Đorđević Serbia Jun 2007 Oct 2007 10 3 4 3 17th (until week 10)
Bijan Zolfagharnasab Iran Oct 2007 May 2008 24 8 11 5 6th
Mansour Ebrahimzadeh Iran Jul 2008 Jun 2012 134 62 48 24 (08-09) 2nd,
(09-10) 2nd,(10–11) 3rd,
(11-12) 6th
Rasoul Korbekandi Iran Jun 2012 Oct 2012 11 3 1 7 15th (until week 11)
Farhad Kazemi Iran Oct 2012 Jul 2013 23 6 10 7 14th
Luka Bonačić Croatia Jul 2013 Jan 2014 20 3 7 10 14th (until week 20)
Mojtaba Taghavi Iran Jan 2014 Feb 2014 7 1 4 2 15th (until week 27)
Firouz Karimi Iran Feb 2014 Jun 2014 4 3 0 1 13th
Yahya Golmohammadi Iran Jun 2014 Present 17 5 6 6

Current coaching staff[edit]

Position Name
Head Coach Iran Yahya Golmohammadi
Assistant Coach Iran Mojtaba Hosseini
Assistant Coach Iran Akbar Mohammadi
Goalkeeping Coach Iran Davoud Fanaei
Fitness Coach Spain Robberto Sakashvi
Technical Manager Iran Bahram Atef
Physiotherapist Iran Abbas Moradi
Doctor Iran Dr. Amir Hossein Sharifianpour
Logistics Iran Mahmoud Mehruyan
Team Director Iran Ali Shojaei

Chairpersons[edit]

Chairperson Tenure
Iran Mohammad Mehdi Taghizadeh
July 1969 – July 1977
Iran Mostafa Ghanei
July 1977 – February 1979
Iran Asghar Nilchian
May 1979 – May 1984
Iran Fazollah Omranian
May 1984 – May 1988
Iran Heydar Taheri
May 1988 – May 1992
Iran Nematollah Zargar
May 1992 – June 1996
Iran Alireza Shogi
June 1996 – June 2004
Iran Saeed Azari
June 2004 – June 2009
Iran Asghar Dalili
June 2009 – August 2011
Iran Mohammad Asghari
August 2011 – September 2013
Iran Saeed Azari
September 2013 – present

Season-by-season[edit]

The table below chronicles the achievements of Zob Ahan since 1973.

Asian Football Clubs (by IFFHS)[edit]

Rankings are calculated by the IFFHS.[6]

AFC IFFHS Club Points
1 80 South Korea Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors 130,5
2 82 Iran Zob Ahan Isfahan FC 128,0
3 90 Japan Kashima Antlers 123,5
4 94 South Korea Suwon Samsung Bluewings 121,0
5 100 Japan Gamba Osaka 119,5
6 113 Indonesia Persipura Jayapura 113,5
7 116 Saudi Arabia Al-Hilal FC 112,0
8 125 Japan Cerezo Osaka 108,0
9 131 Jordan Al-Wahdat SC 105,0
10 136 Iran Sepahan F.C. 103,5
11 148 Japan Nagoya Grampus 100,0
12 156 South Korea FC Seoul 98,5
13 158 Kuwait Qadsia SC 97,5
14 176 Indonesia Sriwijaya F.C. 93,5
15 185 South Korea Jeju United 91,0
16 200 Indonesia Persib Bandung 87,5
17 201 Saudi Arabia Al-Shabab Riyadh 87,0
= 201 Saudi Arabia Al-Ittihad Jeddah 87,0
19 204 Uzbekistan Nasaf Qarshi 86,0
= 204 Qatar Al-Sadd Club 86,0

Last updated December 1st, 2009

Club honours[edit]

Domestic[edit]

Runners-Up (3): 2004–05, 2008–09, 2009–10
Winners (2): 2002–03, 2008–09
Runners-Up (1): 2000–01

Continental[edit]

Runners-Up (1): 2010

Ownership[edit]

The owner of the Zob Ahan FC is Isfahan Steel Company. Company is the first Iranian steel maker opened in late 1960, based close to the cities of Fooladshahr and Zarrinshahr, Isfahan Province.

Zob Ahan-e Esfahan and Iran's first car manufacturer, Iran National (renamed Iran Khodro after the Iranian revolution) were parts of a significant move from mainly agriculture-based economy toward industrialization by the pre-revolutionary government of Amir Abbas Hoveida.

References[edit]

External links[edit]

External[edit]

Official[edit]

Achievements
Preceded by
Al-Ittihad
ACL Runner-up
2010
Succeeded by
Jeonbuk
Preceded by
Esteghlal F.C.
IPL Runner-up
2004–05
Succeeded by
PAS Tehran
Preceded by
Sepahan F.C.
IPL Runner-up
2008–09
Succeeded by
Holders
Preceded by
Holders
IPL Runner-up
2009–10
Succeeded by
Esteghlal F.C.
Preceded by
Esteghlal F.C.
Hazfi Cup Champions
2002–03
Succeeded by
Sepahan F.C.
Preceded by
Esteghlal F.C.
Hazfi Cup Champions
2008–09
Succeeded by
Perspolis F.C.